Interviews

Discussions with people involved in the games we love.

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For the past few months, jdodson has been bringing you interviews with members of the community. Recently, I turned the tables on him!

Why did you decide to start Cheerful Ghost?

jdodson: I wanted to share all games I owned with my friends and I knew of no good way to do that. Secondly I wanted to read people’s thoughts on games they loved. I used to scroll through the Amazon reviews for games because I liked how people honestly gave them a fair shake. I tried reading other game sites, but felt the reviewers were overly cynical and jaded and I didn’t enjoy the community that fostered. So I decided I need to fix that and launched Cheerful Ghost 4 months later.... Read All

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Eric Barone is the creator of Stardew Valley the new open-ended country-life RPG with co-op. After posting information of the game to Cheerful Ghost I realized that most of you were as excited about seeing this game and needed to know more about it. In the original thread I asked people to submit questions for the interview and @WhiteboySlim & @scrypt stepped up the the challenge. I wish Eric well and a speedy launch of Stardew Valley!

jdodson: The first time I saw the Stardew Valley video my mind exploded in excitement. The game seems to focus on a community & co-op and I noticed an in game conversation about crop sustainability. As you were coming... Read All

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After trying out the Alpha of Peanut Butter Fingers 2D cover shooter Ur Not a Hero, I was impressed. I decided to ask them to talk to me about the game and the next steps because I am really interested in the story behind it and when the final may make its appearance. Because, the world needs more violent 2D cover shooters to round things out.

jdodson: You recently released Ur Not A Hero in Alpha. I wonder how this has been going for you? How have people been responding to it?

John Ribbins: It’s all a bit of a shock really. I read indiegames.com pretty much every day and I opened it up on Monday and saw UNAH at the top of the page. I think I literally went “... Read All

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jdodson: The last time we talked you dropped the news you were leaving Fantasy Flight and going freelance. I wonder how things have been going for you since we talked?

Kevin Wilson: Things have been going quite well for me so far. I might have as many as 6 new games out this year, depending on production times and if my 2 unsold games get picked up soon. I've also managed to get my LLC (limited liability company) set up, started a blog, and put together a website for my company. Money's still tight, as I expected while getting started, but I'm beginning to feel reasonably confident that I'm going to be able to make it as a freelancer in the long run.

jdodson:... Read All

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GOG.com is a cool digital games store focusing on getting great DRM free games in the hands of gamers for awesome prices. I have been a fan of the site because it really distinguishes itself as a purveyor of classic games and a sort of digital archivist of gaming culture and history. You can totally see that in the way they curate the space behind such amazing works as Baldurs Gate and Simcity 2000. Recently I dropped my friends at GOG.com a line and they were amicable enough to answer some of my questions. The interview goes into rad-territory covering the Indie Games explosion, Linux, Age of Empires 2 and Star Wars. Yeah, apparently the people GOG.com... Read All

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Hammerwatch is an upcoming Gauntlet styled hack-n-slash that was recently submitted to Steam Greenlight. After watching the trailer I was floored with how awesome this game looks. I have thought for many years that there needed to be a modern Gauntlet styled hack-n-slash and Hammerwatch looks to be that game!

I immediately emailed the developers of Hammerwatch a few questions about the game mechanics, Steam Greenlight and more. Enjoy!

jdodson: Hammerwatch is a Gauntlet styled Hack and Slash that features LAN and Internet Co-Op. The video looks absolutely incredible and can’t wait to play it! How does the game play now as you are doing your testing?

Niklas:... Read All

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The Global Game Jam is a yearly event designed to bring people of various backgrounds together to build video games. This year the Portland game community was one participant in this global event taking place in 242 locations over 47 countries in the course of the weekend. I was part of the initial kickoff and was able to be part of this creative digital collab-fest.

As the 60+ people converged on The Art Institute of Portland I was surprised at the diversity of the group consisting of programmers, artists, musicians, modelers, writers, classically trained 3d generalists, architects, pixel artists, film makers, illustrators and community organizers. After the... Read All

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As I continue the series of Cheerful Ghost Community Interviews the next person up is @WhiteboySlim. I really dug this interview as we both have a similar history of games we grew up playing. I want to thank @WhiteboySlim for doing the interview!

jdodson: Are you interested in any of the next gen consoles? Wii U, PS4, NextBox or the Steambox?

WhiteboySlim: I’m interested to see what they all will offer to be honest. I haven’t had any hands-on time with the Wii U, but I would like to see it in action to see if it’s any good. I’m also very interested in the Steambox. Valve has done some really cool stuff with Steam, and I can’t wait to see what they will bring... Read All

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Back this on Kickstarter!
Recently I saw an amazing Kickstarter for a new gamed called "Monsters Ate My Birthday Cake." The game focuses on amazingly lush visuals and a puzzle styled game play similar to early Legend of Zelda Games. I immediately had to know more about the Kickstarter and Sleep Ninja Games the company behind the magic.

jdodson: The “Monster’s Ate My Birthday Cake” Kickstarter page reminisces of the time before the Wiki where we shared secrets and game lore by word of mouth. What lore or secrets have been burned into your brain you can’t shake?

Justin Baldwin: It's been a long time, and I remember it for tons of games. I really more or less want to try to bring that... Read All

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The next entrant in the Cheerful Ghost Community Interview series I have been doing is Will Owens. Will is the creator of Backlog Killer, a blog dedicated to completing his large pile of awesome games.

jdodson: You are playing through Ultima Underworld right now. How is that going?

Will Owens: Slowly but surely. Ultima Underworld is actually one of the two or three games that motivated me to begin writing the Backlog Killer blog last year. The problem of too little time and too much to play remains, but I now have a system that allows me to focus and not be distracted by other games that may be laying around, too. I usually only have the opportunity to play... Read All

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For quite some time I have enjoyed the Starcrafts series of animation shorts. I was able to reach out to CarbotAnimations, the creators of Starcrafts and they agreed to do an interview. Right now CarbotAnimations consists of Jon Burton with contributions from his brother. Its pretty amazing to consider how awesome it is to go from zero to a few million views in such a short amount of time. I imagine the fact that the videos are awesome has much to do with it.

This was a really fun interview to do and I want to thank Jon Burton for taking the time to talk to me.

jdodson: The characters of Starcrafts have very distinct personalities. The Zerglings, Zealots &... Read All

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The experience of playing Sword & Sworcery on my iPhone showed me how immersive games on my phone could be. I wasn't sure iPhone games could be more than the typical grind of a puzzle game or fruit ninja clone. As I played Sword and Sworcery for the first time it recommended I use stereo headphones and I was surprised at how fantastic the experience was. The game that unfolded was a visual and audio feast. I enjoyed the fresh take on how a video game provides you with an introduction and the music stood out front and center as incredible. I mentally noted to find out more about the music because as I played it really hooked me. Jim Guthrie's scores for... Read All

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Recently I wrote about a classic game I love called Spaceward Ho! You can read my thoughts about the game here:

http://cheerfulghost.com/jdodson/posts/853

For quite some time I have been wanting to do an interview with the developers responsible for such an amazing classic. As luck would have it, I was able to talk to Peter Commons the original developer of Spaceward Ho! I found it awesome to be able to bat around questions with Peter about a game so close to my gamer DNA. If you are not familiar with Spaceward Ho! it is available now on the iPad, iPhone and Mac.

jdodson: Thank you for taking time out of your schedule to answer my questions today. Spaceward Ho!... Read All

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Recently I asked Ryan C. Gordon some questions about his work in porting games, the current state of gaming in Linux, and where he sees it in the future. For those of you who aren't familiar with his work, Ryan has been involved in porting many games and other software to Linux and Mac OSX. Most recently he has been working with the folks at Humble Bundle to ensure their games are cross-platform.

Without further ado...

Thanks for taking the time to answer some questions for us. Let's start with a very broad one-- how do you see the state of Linux gaming today?
It's making progress. We're turning out to have a pretty big year, with Unity3D coming to the... Read All

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I now bring you the thrilling part 2 to my interview with the always awesome Panickedthumb.

You can read part one here:
http://cheerfulghost.com/jdodson/posts/738

jdodson: What was the last game you beat?

panickedthumb: This is kinda sad actually. I can't remember. I just took a scan through my Steam library to find out. Does Diablo 3 count? I haven't beaten Inferno with any character yet, but I've beaten Diablo himself quite a few times now. Otherwise, it's Deus Ex: Human Revolution I guess. Perhaps I'm going through a phase, but lately I've been having trouble holding my focus on a game long enough to beat it. This happens from time to time. I usually end up... Read All

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As part of my series of Interviews with Cheerful Ghost users I started up a conversation with panickedthumb. He had and idea that we have a Interview but sort of trade ideas back and forth. Its a good format, one I plan continuing with the next few interviews.

It is a bit long so it will be broken up into two parts.

jdodson: Recently you picked up Dishonored. What are your thoughts on this one? Are you interested in seeing more of this game made?

panickedthumb: I love it. It's so incredibly engrossing, and yet... I haven't been able to motivate myself to play much of it. I feel like this is the opposite of pick-up-and-play, and I haven't had a lot of time at a... Read All

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Forever enshrined in history is the story of Action 52 games and The Cheetahmen. Action 52 games made a NES cart that packed in a total of 52 games and one such addition to the mix, Cheetahmen has caught on to achieve NES Retro infamy. In a series of events not entirely clear to me a few thousand copies of a prototype print of Cheetahman 2 were found in an old Action 52 storage area. These were later put on EBay and currently fetch for a high price.

A bit about the original Action 52 cart as reviewed by the amazing Angry Video Game Nerd:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hwmoJkHS-2E

Intro Greg Pabich, the Wizard behind the recent Cheetahmen 2: The Lost Levels... Read All

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As I mentioned a few days back that I would be sending out user interviews to the most active Cheerful Ghost users. I emailed BR and he awesomely answered my questions.

Ill send out more over the next few weeks. If you don't get a email right away, fear not ill get to you all.

http://cheerfulghost.com/BR

jdodson: I know a bit about this already, but I wonder if you can let us know why you chose BR as your screen name?

BR: For those who don't know, BR stands for BlueRooster. This has been my screen name for the past few years. I first came up with it when creating an account to play Global Agenda. I mostly like it because its fairly simple and unique. I've never... Read All

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Time Walk Games makes physical prints of NES and SNES games. These shrink wrapped modern game carts are of fan game creations and translations. When I found TimeWalk Games online I was impressed with quality of what they produce. I was able to sit down with Spencer from TimeWalk Games and ask him some questions about what they do and threw in a few other bits as well.

jdodson: Recently you released Final Fantasy Ages for the Super Nintendo. How long does it take from the initial concept to launch? What process is involved to launch the game?

Spencer: The artwork, manual and map design can take anywhere from a week to a few months depending on the type of game... Read All

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After getting into table top gaming a few years ago I started following Fantasy Flight Games and the work of Kevin Wilson in particular. For me, Kevin's games stand above others in their creativity and gameplay. It was a joy to be able to ask him questions and I hope you find it as interesting to read as it was to take part in.

Interview:

jdodson: I want to thank you for taking the time to answer my questions. I am wondering if you could give a quick rundown of your history with gaming and what you currently do for Fantasy Flight Games?

Kevin Wilson: No problem. I've been gaming for about 30 years now, getting my start as a D&D roleplayer way back in the... Read All

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At this years Portland Retro Gaming Expo I was able to try out the new GameDock for iPhone, an awesome device that turns your phone into a console. The GameDock features retro styled NES controllers and using them makes iPhone games much more awesome to play. I was able to ask one of the Cascadia Games developers Chris some questions and he awesomely shipped me back some information.

Please friend, read on:

jdodson: So Cascadia Games started with iPhone games. I wonder at what point you decided, "Hey, we need to make the iPhone a console!"

Chris: I honestly don’t know when it clicked. I was in the middle of developing Cavorite 2. A lot of folks complained about... Read All

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Mindwedge, an indie game company recently released its first game called Monster Minis Extreme Off-Road and I was able to virtually sit down with Dave and ask him a few questions about it all. You can easily snag the demo for Monster Mini's on the website and the full meal deal is available on Beamdog and Desura.

jdodson: What was the inspiration for Monster Mini's?

Dave: For inspiration I look to my creator first. It's my feeling that I can do no greater honor to him than to emulate him by being creative.

But on a more practical level, I think that there were a few influences in play. I really enjoyed off-road ATV as well as off-road truck racing games. One... Read All

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After the first few minutes of meeting Steve Ellis it’s apparent we share an unadulterated love for gaming. Steve Ellis runs Rainy Day Games, a local game store that sells many classic games, miniatures, RPGs, card games and puzzles. I was able to sit down with Steve so we could talk about gaming.

Rainy Day Games started 14 years ago after Steve and his business partner Jeff met playing Magic: The Gathering. Steve dropped the idea of starting a store together and the idea stuck. Both decided to forgo being paid at first and continued to work day jobs during the first few years. In looking back, Steve is happy they did this as it helped the store get on it’s... Read All

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